Compared to many other RPGs, Starfield is surprisingly generous when it comes to character builds. With no real level cap in sight, the only real restriction is the amount of time you want to spend playing the game. However, anyone who doesn’t feel like spending dozens and dozens of hours unlocking everything in Starfield may simply wonder which Skills they should prioritize. That’s obviously what we’re here to talk about.
From jet packs to invisibility, here are some of the absolute best Skills in Starfield at every stage of the game.
Starfield: Best Early Game Skills
For this section, I’ll be focusing on Skills that are available in the first row of the game’s five Skill trees. These are the Skills that most players should pick up right away regardless of their intended playstyle.
Boost Pack Training
Boost Pack Training isn’t the flashiest skill, but it’s one that every Starfield player should unlock as soon as possible.
Boost Pack Training allows you to actually use the various boost packs you’ll find throughout the game in order to jump higher, hover, and even fly across short distances. It’s an invaluable navigation ability that honestly probably should have been enabled by default. Regardless, you should grab it right away.
While anyone interested in flying Starfield’s biggest ships should eventually invest four Skill Points into Piloting, every Starfield player should spend at least one Skill Point on Piloting as soon as possible.
Why? Well, one Piloting Skill Point unlocks thrusters for your ship that not only allow you to gain a short burst of speed while flying but avoid incoming target-locked missiles. That makes it essential for the ship-to-ship battles you will almost certainly run into from time to time.
It is remarkably easy to become over-encumbered in Starfield. Resources are both plentiful and heavy, which means that you’ll soon find yourself relying on secondary storage options to keep track of everything.
However, you can make things slightly easier on yourself by putting at least one Skill Point into Weight Lifting. While the bonuses you get from the lower levels of this ability are modest, they will make things easier for you.
Being able to solve the occasional Persuasion check will open up a lot of doors in Starfield. Even if you’re not creating a purely Charismatic character, you will want to be able to win a conversation from time to time simply to see what the game has to offer.
So, do yourself a favor and invest an early Skill Point in Persuasion. It’ll give you just enough of a bump when choosing the Persuade dialog option to win most Skill checks without having to invest too many resources into that style of play.
You will often buy items from vendors in Starfield, but you will constantly be selling stuff in this game. As such, there really is no reason to not put at least one Skill Point into Commerce and get 10% more Credits on every item you sell.
While I don’t think it’s worth investing all your Skill Points into this trait, that 10% bump really adds up in the long run.
Although the Combat tree in Starfield isn’t quite as useful or exciting as it probably should be, any Starfield player who doesn’t try to avoid combat entirely should put one Skill Point into Ballistics.
Ballistic weapons are not just the most common kind of weapon in Starfield, but they are often the most powerful. As such, the cost of the Skill Point you have to spend on this perk is insignificant compared to the value of getting 10% more damage out of the weapons you were probably already using anyway.
While you can use Digipicks to open locks without picking up Security, investing a Skill Point in this perk will allow you to open Advanced Locks and store Auto Attempts for quicker lockpicking.
Ultimately, you’ll probably want to spend at least three Skill Points in Security in order to unlock the ability to open Master-level locks. Some of the best items in the game are found behind such locks, and there is no other way to open those locks if you don’t invest points into that Skill.
If you don’t put one Skill Point into Stealth, you won’t even have access to a Stealth Meter in Starfield. It’s another one of the weird ways the game locks core gameplay elements behind a Skill Point.
Regardless, anyone who doesn’t intend to blast their way through the game should put at least one Skill Point into Stealth simply to have the option of sneaking around from time to time.
Targeting Control Systems
Although it’s a slightly lesser recommendation, there are certainly worse things you can do with your early Skill Points than invest one of them into Targeting Control Systems. This useful ability will allow you to access a ship’s targeting functionality and lock on to enemies for powerful homing missile strikes.
It’s not worth investing too many points into this Skill if you’re not planning on getting into as many ship-to-ship battles as possible, but Targeting Control Systems makes the occasional ship-to-ship fight so much easier than it would otherwise be.
Starfield: Most Powerful Endgame Skills
While most Tier 4 abilities in Starfield are worth it for the right kind of player, a select few late-game Skills are worth going well out of your way for regardless of how you play the game.
Concealment is probably the most powerful (maybe even broken) skill in Starfield. It takes a lot of points to unlock it, but doing so should be a top priority for all stealthy players.
At Level One, Concealment allows you to ignore enemy mines and gain a decent damage buff to your sneak attacks. That’s nice, but it’s not much more than that. However, by the time you unlock Concealment Level Four, you will be able to sprint while sneaking, automatically gain Chameleon abilities, acquire massive damage bonuses, and force enemies to lose track of you simply by going into Stealth mode. In other words, you can pretty much do whatever you want.
Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong picking up any health-related Skills in Starfield. Skills like Medicine and Wellness go a long way toward keeping you alive, and it turns out that staying alive in Starfield is a big part of the experience. However, none of those Skills compare to the power of Rejuvenation.
At Level One, Rejuvenation will allow you to slowly recover health outside of combat. When fully upgraded, though, Rejuvenation will also allow you to also quickly regain health while in combat. You’re not technically invincible, but with the right armor and tactics, it’s about as close as you’ll get to being invincible without entering a cheat code.
Your companions will occasionally do some silly things in Starfield, but they’re generally worth having around. If you really want to get the most out of your companions, though, you’ll need to pick up Leadership.
Fully upgrading Leadership will not only make your companions more powerful and more durable but it will increase their carrying capacity by 50kg (an invaluable quality-of-life buff). Even better, it allows Companions to occasionally heal both you and themselves. It’s just a fantastic universal set of benefits for anyone who doesn’t travel alone.
Investing too many points in the Combat tree is a hard sell (there are strangely better combat options elsewhere), but Crippling might just be worth the time and effort.
When fully upgraded, Crippling significantly increases the chances that enemies will enter a downed state when hit and it increases the damage you do to enemies when they are downed. By the time you acquire this ability, you either tend to kill the enemy outright with a couple of shots or down them and finish them off shortly thereafter. Either way, your combat problems are pretty much over once you have this Skill.
There are a few Skills in Starfield that allow you to manipulate enemies, but none of them compare to the power of Instigation.
At Level One, Instigation allows you to force an enemy to attack their allies for a brief period of time. However, at Level Four, Instigation allows you to command an enemy 20 Levels above you to attack their allies until they die. In other words, it basically lets you kill an enemy 20 Levels above you with the push of a button and take out a few other enemies in the process.
Boost Assault Training
Though there are actually several nice ship-to-ship combat buffs found in the Tech tree, Boost Assault Training is certainly the ultimate prize in that particular collection of perks.
Boost Assault Training allows you to damage nearby ships when you boost near them. Interestingly, at the highest level, this Skill actually allows you to slow down time by 70% when hovering. In other words, this skill greatly enhances your overall damage and survivability while boosting or hovering, which are often the two main modes of ship combat.
You can actually acquire Payloads relatively early into the game, and you’ll probably want to invest four Skill Points into this ability as soon as you are able.
When fully upgraded, Payloads increases your ship cargo capacity by a whopping 50%. No other skill in the game gives you more carrying capacity on a per-point basis. It’s hard to go without this one, especially if you are interested in crafting and building.
Speaking of which…
Researching, Crafting, and Building Skills
You probably noticed that I didn’t recommend any crafting/building-related Skills in this article. Well, that’s simply because most of those Skills are largely functional.
If you want to be able to create higher quality items or build settlements in more dangerous territories, you’ll need to invest the points into the Skills that let you do so. If that’s not the part of the game you’re interested in, you can skip those Skills until much later. For what it’s worth, I found that the weapon modification and ship modification abilties are generally worth acquiring before other options, though your mileage may vary.
However, here are a few of the more interesting Skills in those categories you should consider picking up:
Astrophysics – Makes planet scanning significantly more efficient.
Scanning – This not only allows you to detect the most valuable resources on a planet but scan nearby ships for their full cargo list.
Aneutronic Fusion – Adds extra units of power to your ship’s reactors (up to five when fully upgraded).